The No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors meet the No. 9 seed Memphis Grizzlies in the final game of the 2021 NBA play-in tournament. The winner will face the No. 1 seed Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs while the loser goes home. Golden State is favored to win at -5.5, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Warriors are coming off a tough 103-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and will need to regroup quickly to avoid watching the postseason from home. MVP finalist Stephen Curry scored 37 points in the defeat and will need to put up another monster effort in what amounts to an elimination game for Golden State.
Curry has seen 10 playoff elimination games in his career, which seems rather high for a player who went to five straight NBA Finals. He’s performed well in those contests, averaging 27.8 points, 7.0 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from deep.
The Warriors have rarely been backed up against the wall in Curry’s career, but two moments stand out for the superstar point guard. The first is Golden State’s comeback from a 3-1 deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Klay Thompson’s Game 6 heroics stand out, but Curry was clutch in the last three games.
Stephen Curry in Games 5-7 vs. OKC (2015-16): 32.7 points, 7.7 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 47 FG%, 47.1 3P%
Golden State would go on to collapse in the Finals vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Curry’s strong performance against the Thunder shouldn’t be forgotten. His second signature moment came against the Houston Rockets in 2018, with the Warriors down 3-2 in the series. This was the first instance of Golden State being taken past five games in a playoff series since adding Kevin Durant.
Stephen Curry in Games 6-7 vs. Houston (2017-18): 28.0 points, 8.0 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 48.9 FG%, 41.4 3P%
Rockets fans will point to 27 straight missed three-pointers and Chris Paul’s injury as factors in Houston’s elimination, but Curry was spectacular. He’s taken his play to another level this season for the undermanned Warriors, averaging 32.0 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game while barely missing out on a 50-40-90 campaign. Curry’s point total for his player parlay vs. Memphis is at 39, which seems outrageously high. However, the guard did score 37 against the Lakers and tends to show up in elimination games.
The most important thing to remember: Curry has won six of his 10 playoff elimination games, giving the Warriors a big edge over the Grizzlies for the West’s final playoff spot.